About this Playlist
The best in house and dance, from soulful house and disco, to acid and techno, deep or chilled, full on rave to a more jazz influenced sound, the music might be underground, commercial or experimental.
The latest track on the playlist is from Southern-California born and Hainan-based musicians, Matt Waters and Matthew Busch aka Intro to Music Theory have been on an eclectic musical journey and a plethora of experience in a multitude of genres- first in the classical, jazz, and freelance world in the United States, and later as electronic artists and producers in China. Back in 2020, they released their debut EP, Toot the Bad Horn, an eclectic mix of house and instrumental-fusion. These tracks are what propelled them into the NFT and Crypto space with incredible success, partnering with Charged Particles and NFTYthings to sell the 15th most expensive t-shirt of all time.
The latest release ‘It’s An Attitude’ is a homage to the history of house. Rooted in jazz, funk, and disco, this house track features the signature trumpet and trombone of Intro to Music Theory and showcases their signature live-horn layering.
Tell us about yourself, some background on the band, when and how did you get into music.
Both of us got started with music from an early age, discovering our love for band and brass instruments in elementary school. We met marching Drum and Bugle Corps together over 12 years ago, and after we both finished school ended up moving abroad in 2017 to Hainan, China together to help set up a wind instrument program at a new university there. Our second year into teaching there, we started a side business in event production for music festivals, pool and beach parties and other events, which ended up with us forming Intro to Music Theory after bringing our horns on stage with us while we DJed back-to-back.
What’s the inspiration behind ‘It’s An Attitude’ and the sound you have created.
The inspiration for our upcoming track ‘It’s An Attitude’ came out of our desire to combine our live electronic performance experience that is full of live looping, FX and sonic manipulation with our studio sound. We started with a rhythm and bass line that we felt captured the feeling our favorite House tracks give us, and let our horns do the rest. We particularly enjoy that we aren’t bound to a particular genre or style, however we find that the majority of our tracks have an undercurrent of Jazz or Funk, which makes sense as we both share a particular love for Earth, Wind & Fire, The Rat Pack, Chicago, Tower of Power, groups with horns that get in your face, as well as artists that straddle genres like Freddie Hubbard, Roy Hargrove, D’Angelo, Miles Davis.. there’s so many!
Tell us about a classic track, something that has inspired you or just one you love and never get sick of listening to.
Besides the groups we mentioned earlier, we are huge Thievery Corporation fans, especially the way they combine the electronic realm with live instrumentalists and singers. The manner in which they approach live performance is one of our inspirations, as well as their effortless transcendence between genres and styles. It’s hard to pin down a singular track, but the gorgeous simplicity and musicality in their album ‘The Mirror Conspiracy‘ is something special and an early influence. One of our tracks off our last album ‘First Inversion’ is dedicated to them, ‘Heist at the Thievery Corporation,’ as we pulled aspects of their sound we admire into our own world.
Can you recommend any new music, something that you have just discovered or are just really digging at the moment.
Yes! Lately we have been really digging new fusion groups like Khruangbin and WhoMadeWho. We admire groups that are pushing the concept of genre and live performance with electronic elements and human elements. It’s an exciting time to be alive with music being so easily available and being able to experience live performances from anywhere in the world.
What’s the best way a fan can help you today? If they had a spare ten minutes – what is the best thing they could do to help you.
Do you think playlists are important, what’s the future of the playlist.
Playlists are our generations mix-tapes. It’s an incredible way to share your in-the-moment personal tastes with the rest of the world, or privately with an individual. This form of self-expression will continue to evolve, but for now it’s an effective way to create a mood for any occasion or discover new artists. Perhaps in the future we will see the playlist return to some physical form – it would be pretty cool to hold something like that in your hands again like a tape or a CD.
While streaming is great, we prefer to perform for you live and in person. There’s something special about connecting with the dance floor with a horn in your hand, weaving through a sonic journey together. We’re looking forward to doing more of that around the world as it opens up.
Groovy House – A playlist from the bands label HMP Records
How have you kept busy during the last year or so, has the pandemic stifled your creativity or has the time allowed you to experiment more with your sound.
The last year has been incredibly formative for us in many ways. Without live gigs while we were stuck state-side during the beginnings of the pandemic, we seized the opportunity to learn as much as we could about music production and experiment with different Ableton Live setups. This in turn led to a number of singles, an EP ‘Toot the Bad Horn’ and our debut album ‘First Inversion.’ Once we were able to return to Hainan in the Fall of 2020, we took a mobile DJ setup around the island, filming and performing sets in some of the more picturesque locations here. It’s been quite the ride as we flow between and fuse together genres we grew up with.
What got you interested in crypto and NFTs?
Originally, we were asked to perform for the launch of a protocol called Charged Particles, who a friend of ours was the community manager at the time. Having no performances lined up during the height of COVID, we readily agreed, and were sucked in from there on out. From those experiences, we saw the potential for musicians to really have control over their own work, find a new path towards monetization, and start pushing back against an industry that hasn’t been putting artists first. After this realization, we had multiple performances in the Cryptovoxels Metaverse, launched our most recent album, First Inversion, as a crypto-centric launch, and found a home running UnchainedMusic.io which is giving musicians the ability to distribute their music for free due to the power of decentralized finance and NFTs.
How do you see the future integration of music with Crypto and NFT and your own roles in it?
We see ourselves as pioneers in the space alongside all of the other musicians and projects that are trying to find a better path forward for artists. We’re doing consistent collaboration with Charged Particles as leaders in their Music Guild creating community in the Web3 space, building Unchained Music with the intention of giving power back to artists, and continuing to showcase the use of NFTs beyond simply art through our own uses of the technology. There is absolutely a path forward with NFTs once people realize that they can be more than just art. Utility gives power, and once musicians realize how they can keep more value from their work, this space will absolutely explode.
What does 2022 look like for the band, your hope and dreams, exciting future plans, new releases, tours or gigs.
2022 is looking like it’s going to be jam packed! With the release of ‘It’s An Attitude’ along with more singles slated through summer we’re looking forward to more collaborations with other artists as we explore more genres. Lately we’ve been playing for all-night beach club parties on our island and discovering new ways to manipulate our horn sounds onstage over our original tracks. The goal is to have another 100% original House set combining Ableton Live and DJing by the end of the year.
We will also be launching a platform for artists to distribute their music for free in the first half of 2022.